Top House Guidebook

Ruth
Top House Guidebook

Food scene

Omata Estate is a 5 minute drive from the Top House. Wine tasting is available, and a casual restaurant. The wine is delicious, the restaurant is casual and friendly with simple but delicious food, and the view for diners is stunning. We love this place! Open 11am - 6pm Thursday - Monday in summer
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Omata Estate Vineyard & Kitchen
212 Aucks Rd
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Omata Estate is a 5 minute drive from the Top House. Wine tasting is available, and a casual restaurant. The wine is delicious, the restaurant is casual and friendly with simple but delicious food, and the view for diners is stunning. We love this place! Open 11am - 6pm Thursday - Monday in summer
An historic hotel, that is very well known. The Duke has a fabulous location right on the waterfront in the centre of Russell. The bar and restaurant have lots of character, the food is good, and there are lots of local wines available.
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Duke Of Marlborough Hotel
35 The Strand
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An historic hotel, that is very well known. The Duke has a fabulous location right on the waterfront in the centre of Russell. The bar and restaurant have lots of character, the food is good, and there are lots of local wines available.
Hone's serves great wood fired pizzas (and a few other things), in a garden setting. A good place for casual dining, or for takeaway pizza.
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Hone's Pizza Garden & Burger Bar
10 York St
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Hone's serves great wood fired pizzas (and a few other things), in a garden setting. A good place for casual dining, or for takeaway pizza.
Butterfish is a cafe/restaurant on the waterfront in the centre of Russell. The have a delicious selection of cabinet food, as well as serving hot meals, and being fully licensed.
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Butterfish Restaurant And Cafe
25 The Strand
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Butterfish is a cafe/restaurant on the waterfront in the centre of Russell. The have a delicious selection of cabinet food, as well as serving hot meals, and being fully licensed.
Delicious food in an historic building, with foundations made of whalebones! Right on the waterfront in the centre of Russell - eat outside under the pohutukawa trees (if you can get a seat!) or inside out of the hot sun.
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The Gables Restaurant
19 The Strand
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Delicious food in an historic building, with foundations made of whalebones! Right on the waterfront in the centre of Russell - eat outside under the pohutukawa trees (if you can get a seat!) or inside out of the hot sun.
Sage is the restaurant for the Paroa Bay Winery. It's fine dining about 15 minutes drive from Russell. There's a spectacular sweeping view out to the open ocean, and the food and wine also excellent. Worth the drive if you are a foodie.
Sage Restaurant
34A Otamarua Road
Sage is the restaurant for the Paroa Bay Winery. It's fine dining about 15 minutes drive from Russell. There's a spectacular sweeping view out to the open ocean, and the food and wine also excellent. Worth the drive if you are a foodie.
Pretty vineyard offering wine tasting and a restaurant with delicious food. Open for lunch only.
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Marsden Estate
56 Wiroa Rd
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Pretty vineyard offering wine tasting and a restaurant with delicious food. Open for lunch only.
"The Plough & Feather is an English-style Gastro Pub with a Northland Twist, and it is our aim to celebrate the culture, history, and stories of the people and land around us through food and drink."
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Plough & Feather
215 Kerikeri Road
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"The Plough & Feather is an English-style Gastro Pub with a Northland Twist, and it is our aim to celebrate the culture, history, and stories of the people and land around us through food and drink."

Sightseeing

Built in 1842, Pompallier Mission originally housed a printery where Church texts were translated from Latin to te reo Māori, then printed and bound. It is just one of several buildings, including a chapel and various outhouses, which once stood in this crowded enclave. Today the Printery stands as New Zealand’s oldest industrial building, as well as the oldest of rammed-earth construction, distinctly French in style and making use of local materials including sand, rock and timber.
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Pompallier Mission
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Built in 1842, Pompallier Mission originally housed a printery where Church texts were translated from Latin to te reo Māori, then printed and bound. It is just one of several buildings, including a chapel and various outhouses, which once stood in this crowded enclave. Today the Printery stands as New Zealand’s oldest industrial building, as well as the oldest of rammed-earth construction, distinctly French in style and making use of local materials including sand, rock and timber.
The Waitangi Treaty Grounds is New Zealand’s most important historic site where in 1840 New Zealand’s founding document was signed: the Treaty of Waitangi. The Treaty Grounds features the Museum of Waitangi, the Treaty House, the carved Meeting House and the world’s largest ceremonial war canoe. Enjoy strolling through one of New Zealand’s great beauty spots with its panoramic views of the Bay of Islands. Visitors to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds purchase a Day Pass that includes a guided tour of the grounds and a cultural performance in the carved Meeting House. There are daily guided tours of the grounds and cultural performances in the carved Meeting House. Hangi & Concert evenings are offered in summer. Opening hours: 9am - 5pm. Closed on Christmas Day. Day Pass price Adult $40 NZ resident (ID required) $20 Child (up to 18 years) Free* *Children must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver.
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Waitangi Treaty Grounds
1 Tau Henare Drive
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The Waitangi Treaty Grounds is New Zealand’s most important historic site where in 1840 New Zealand’s founding document was signed: the Treaty of Waitangi. The Treaty Grounds features the Museum of Waitangi, the Treaty House, the carved Meeting House and the world’s largest ceremonial war canoe. Enjoy strolling through one of New Zealand’s great beauty spots with its panoramic views of the Bay of Islands. Visitors to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds purchase a Day Pass that includes a guided tour of the grounds and a cultural performance in the carved Meeting House. There are daily guided tours of the grounds and cultural performances in the carved Meeting House. Hangi & Concert evenings are offered in summer. Opening hours: 9am - 5pm. Closed on Christmas Day. Day Pass price Adult $40 NZ resident (ID required) $20 Child (up to 18 years) Free* *Children must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver.
The Russell Museum tells the story of the development of Russell/Kororareka, from a small Maori fishing village, to a port of call for visiting ships and whalers to today’s tourist town. The collection features Maori taonga, a small waka (canoe), a one-fifth scale model of Captain Cook’s Endeavour, an original whaleboat and mementos of game fisherman, Zane Grey plus much more. Open every day (except Christmas Day). January: 10am-5pm February-December: 10am-4pm
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Russell Museum
2 York St
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The Russell Museum tells the story of the development of Russell/Kororareka, from a small Maori fishing village, to a port of call for visiting ships and whalers to today’s tourist town. The collection features Maori taonga, a small waka (canoe), a one-fifth scale model of Captain Cook’s Endeavour, an original whaleboat and mementos of game fisherman, Zane Grey plus much more. Open every day (except Christmas Day). January: 10am-5pm February-December: 10am-4pm
Christ Church, Russell / Te Whare Karakia o Kororareka is New Zealand’s oldest existing church and possibly the oldest building still used for its original purpose. Its beginnings go back to the earliest years of Maori European contact in the Bay of Islands when missionaries from across the harbour at the Paihia mission station rowed across to take services in private homes. The church was damaged in the Battle of Kororareka in 1845 by musket and cannonballs. You can still see some of the bullet holes today.
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Christ Church, Russell
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Christ Church, Russell / Te Whare Karakia o Kororareka is New Zealand’s oldest existing church and possibly the oldest building still used for its original purpose. Its beginnings go back to the earliest years of Maori European contact in the Bay of Islands when missionaries from across the harbour at the Paihia mission station rowed across to take services in private homes. The church was damaged in the Battle of Kororareka in 1845 by musket and cannonballs. You can still see some of the bullet holes today.
Flagstaff Hill (Maiki Hill) overlooks the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. Directly north of the small historical village of Russell, the flagstaff on the hill played a significant role in early relations between the local Māori of the Ngāpuhi iwi and early British colonials. It is famous for being the site where Hone Heke cut down the flagstaff flying the Union Jack 4 times.
Flagstaff Hill Historic reserve
Flagstaff Hill (Maiki Hill) overlooks the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. Directly north of the small historical village of Russell, the flagstaff on the hill played a significant role in early relations between the local Māori of the Ngāpuhi iwi and early British colonials. It is famous for being the site where Hone Heke cut down the flagstaff flying the Union Jack 4 times.
A beautiful wide sandy beach on the ocean side of the Russell peninsula. Despite being on the open ocean side, the beach is still well protected and is a great spot for swimming.
Long Beach
A beautiful wide sandy beach on the ocean side of the Russell peninsula. Despite being on the open ocean side, the beach is still well protected and is a great spot for swimming.
Track from central Russell to the top of Flagstaff Hill. Fantastic scenery. Going up the hill is a bit steep. This is a loop track, about 2.5km long.
Flagstaff Hill Track
Track from central Russell to the top of Flagstaff Hill. Fantastic scenery. Going up the hill is a bit steep. This is a loop track, about 2.5km long.
Paihia is the main tourist town in the Bay of Islands. Take the passenger ferry from Russell to the centre of Paihia and have a wander around the shops, walk to Waitangi (about 2 km), eat in the restaurants or cafes, enjoy the views and the beaches.
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Paihia
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Paihia is the main tourist town in the Bay of Islands. Take the passenger ferry from Russell to the centre of Paihia and have a wander around the shops, walk to Waitangi (about 2 km), eat in the restaurants or cafes, enjoy the views and the beaches.
A picturesque spot for a picnic. Or walk the track from Haruru Falls to Waitangi. It's 5 km each way, and includes a section of board walk through the mangroves. Start at either end. Very pretty.
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Haruru Falls
80 Haruru Falls Rd
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A picturesque spot for a picnic. Or walk the track from Haruru Falls to Waitangi. It's 5 km each way, and includes a section of board walk through the mangroves. Start at either end. Very pretty.
Built in 1832, the Georgian-style Stone Store was originally a Missionary Society warehouse but assumed various roles including a trading post, library, barracks and boys’ school. It also served as a general store, a tradition that continues today in the atmospheric ground-floor gift shop. A browser’s delight, the shop stocks an amazing range of authentic goods reminiscent of those traded in the early 19th century, alongside unique New Zealand merchandise. Museum displays can be viewed upstairs.
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The Stone Store
246 Kerikeri Rd
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Built in 1832, the Georgian-style Stone Store was originally a Missionary Society warehouse but assumed various roles including a trading post, library, barracks and boys’ school. It also served as a general store, a tradition that continues today in the atmospheric ground-floor gift shop. A browser’s delight, the shop stocks an amazing range of authentic goods reminiscent of those traded in the early 19th century, alongside unique New Zealand merchandise. Museum displays can be viewed upstairs.
The Rainbow Falls track starts near the old Stone Store in Kerikeri, and is 4.3km to the falls (8.6km round trip). The track is mostly within the bush, so not too hot on a sunny day, and follows the river past an old powerhouse and the smaller Wharepuke falls. We like to treat ourselves at the end of the walk with lunch at the Plough and Feather.
Rainbow Falls Walk
The Rainbow Falls track starts near the old Stone Store in Kerikeri, and is 4.3km to the falls (8.6km round trip). The track is mostly within the bush, so not too hot on a sunny day, and follows the river past an old powerhouse and the smaller Wharepuke falls. We like to treat ourselves at the end of the walk with lunch at the Plough and Feather.